October 13, 2017

Legends of Team Canada: Robin Bartel

Another anonymous name from Team Canada's 1984 Olympic hockey team in Sarajevo is that of defenseman Robin Bartel.

Team Canada's defense had a number of players who went on to long and notable careers. Players such as Bruce Driver, James Patrick, Doug Lidster and J.J. Daigneault. Bartel only went on to play 41 NHL games and is long forgotten by most hockey fans.

But Bartel had a couple of things going for him.

Bartel played junior hockey as the defense partner of James Patrick, so they had instant chemistry.

After junior hockey Bartel, who was never drafted by a NHL team, enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan and helped the Huskies capture the Canadian collegiate championship.

The coach of the Huskies was none other than Dave King.

The next season King jumped to the Canadian national team to become head coach. Bartel followed suit, putting his education on hold in hopes of an Olympic medal.

"If it wasn't for (King) I would not have committed to the program," Bartel said.

Bartel still had to earn his spot as he was not guaranteed to go to Sarajevo by any chance. He did keep his role on the team and helped Canada to a fourth place finish, just out of the medals.

"Even if we didn't do quite as well as we were hoping, it was still unquestionably the highlight of my career. Not only to be a part of the spectacle that is the Olympics, but the chance to travel and grow. It was a great experience."

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